That sound you hear is the collective gasp of millions of J.K. Rowling fans as Scholastic unveiled the new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by none other than Kazu Kibuishi, the acclaimed creator of Copper, Daisy Kutter and Amulet.
The cover is the first of seven illustrated by Kibuishi for the U.S. trade paperbacks commemorating the 15th anniversary of the U.S. debut of Rowling’s beloved fantasy series. According to Scholastic, each of the covers will depict a memorable moment from the respective book. The entire collection will be released in September as a boxed set. The American softcover editions have sported Mary GrandPré’s covers since 1998.
“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” Kibuishi, a longtime Harry Potter fan, said in a statement. “When I was asked to submit samples, I initially hesitated because I didn’t want to see them reinterpreted! However, I felt that if I were to handle the project, I could bring something to it that many other designers and illustrators probably couldn’t, and that was that I was also a writer of my own series of middle grade fiction. As an author myself, I tried to answer the question, ‘If I were the author of the books — and they were like my own children — how would I want them to be seen years from now?’ When illustrating the covers, I tried to think of classic perennial paperback editions of famous novels and how those illustrations tend to feel. In a way, the project became a tribute to both Harry Potter and the literary classics.”